Can e-readers help independent writers and publishers? Amazon thinks so. The e-commerce giant announced today that not only did it top 100,000 titles in its Kindle Lending Library but also that more Amazon customers are reading independently published books.
"After a year of marketing 'Whispers from the Ashes' in book clubs, genealogical magazines, and local newspapers with steady, but slow results, I joined the KDP Select program," author Patricia Hester said in a statement. "The results have been absolutely amazing - I have now accomplished every author's dreams: worldwide interest, fan enthusiasm, and wonderful sales."
Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing, or KDP, allows writers to self-publish books and make them available on e-readers and cell phones through KDP Select. In Hester's case, after joining KDP Select one month ago she has since earned over $36,000 from paid sales of her books enrolled in the program. According to Amazon, KDP authors have earned $1.8 million in total from KDP Select.
The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is available to people who own Kindle devices and subscribe to Amazon Prime, which costs $79 per year. These members can check out one lending library book at a time, once a month, with no due dates.
Since its launch in November, the library selection has grown by more than 2,000 percent to more than 100,000 titles; also, more than 1 million KDP Select books have been borrowed. Besides independent writers and publishers, mainstream books are also available including more than 100 New York Times bestsellers, according to Amazon.
The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is separate from Amazon's book borrowing program with local U.S. libraries.